Paula Dean, She’s Not
(Even though she sounds like her.)
It is well known that I am not a cook. I know how to make food and some of it is even good, but as far as being a cook? no. As I have said before, Williams Sonoma is a store full of chores, and it gives me a rash to go into one. Many of their wares look like medieval torture tools. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to use them.
When I was teaching school, our PTA had a carnival each spring. They always had a silent auction for lovely themed baskets that we made up class by class. One year there was a cooking basket and they asked us for our favorite recipes. Mine was:
Campbells Chicken and Stars.
Open can. pour into cup and add a little water,
Drink on the way to school.
(The stars are less likely than noodles to end up on the front of your shirt, but I’m not promising anything.)
The Cook Basket people were not amused.
It is with this in mind I give you my secret recipe that I used when I entered the Whitmore School Chili Cook-off.
How to Not Win the Chili Cook-Off
Put chunks of stew meat from Costco into large pan.
Pour one Modelo dark beer over it.
Add one-half of a diet 7-up for depth of liquid.
Cook for 15 minutes, covered.
Open lid to stir.
Discover that the “meat diaper” somehow got into the pan.
Begin picking it out.
Find that it is a bigger mess than you thought.
Remove meat from pan, dropping a piece on the floor.
Dump liquid mixture into sink and rinse pan
Replace meat into pan, dropping another chunk upon floor.
Discuss whether having dogs negates the 5 second rule with person who sees the dropped meat on the floor.
Rinse dropped meat and add to pan not noticing that a chunk fell into the fire.
Find Coca-Cola in fridge and pour on meat.
Add other half of 7-up for depth of liquid.
Sprinkle random spices on mixture, not using any spices with Italian sounding names.
Cover and simmer.
Hear that danged smoke alarm go off (the one that always signals that you are cooking) and run back into kitchen and put out fire under pan.
Cook for as long as it takes you to shower and blow your hair dry.
4 cans of chile beans
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
1 can of tomato paste
While attempting to stir, realize that you need to divide the mixture into two pots because you made way too much for the pan you chose.
Add more random seasonings, again, none of which sound Italian.
Simmer until it is time to take it to schoolhouse.
Eat other people’s chili.
Follow these simple steps and you won’t even come in 4th.
I can’t wait till next year! Y’all are coming, aren’t you?
Next time I’ll tell you about the cake I made for the cakewalk.